The Breakfast Club is another 1985 film starring Estevez, Nelson, and Sheedy. In The Breakfast Club, these actors (then 22, 25 and 22, respectively) play high school students along with Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald (the only other Brat Packers who aren’t in this movie), while in the same year they play college graduates in St. Elmo’s Fire.
The title and subsequent song came from a quote at the climax of the movie, when Billy is comforting Jules: “It’s St. Elmo’s Fire. Electric flashes of light that appear in dark skies out of nowhere. Sailors would guide entire journeys by it, but the joke was on them … there was no fire. There wasn’t even a St. Elmo. They made it up. They made it up because they thought they needed it to keep them going when times got tough, just like you’re making up all of this. We’re all going through this. It’s our time at the edge.”
Billy’s statement is technically incorrect, in that:
- St. Elmo’s fire is real, although it is indeed not fire, but an electrical phenomenon.
- St. Elmo’s fire didn’t appear in the sky; rather it gathered around the masts of the ship, thus making it impossible to chart a course by.
- St. Elmo” was the nickname for two Roman Catholic saints: Saint Erasmus of Formiae, and Saint Peter Gonzalez known as “St Telmo” or “St. Elmo” in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world. Together, they are considered the Patron Saints of sailors.
The theme song “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” was written by Canadian composer/producer David Foster and performed by John Parr. This hit song was written for the Canadian athlete Rick Hansen who, at the time, was traveling around the world via his wheelchair to raise awareness for spinal cord injuries. His journey was called the “Man in Motion Tour.” The song does not appear on any John Parr album.